How this Asda shopping delivery driver hopes to tackle loneliness over Christmas
- Credit: Archant
An Asda home delivery driver is sporting a ‘Happy To Chat’ badge from now on in a bid to tackle loneliness in the run-up to the Christmas period.
Geoff Norris of the Wisbech supermarket, who has just received a British Empire Medal for work during the pandemic, will be taking part in the scheme.
The 53-year-old, who has worked at the store for almost six years, has been delivering shopping to the elderly and vulnerable on his days off.
Continuing his feel-good work, Mr Norris hopes to bring a smile to his customers and spark up conversations with anyone who feels like having a chat.
He said: “For me, this is exactly what I’ve been doing anyway; trying to help out with the local community and trying to make people feel a bit better.
“We get as much out of chatting to customers as customers get out of chatting to us so to wear a badge which says ‘please talk to us’ is a great idea.
“It’s just part of our job and I enjoy it; I personally get a lot out of talking to people, you get to know them and a lot of my customers become friends in the end.
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“They are not just a customer; they are a friend. I’m going out to deliver to them and I’m being paid for it, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Mr Norris is joining 7,500 of the company’s delivery drivers nationwide who are hoping to cheer people up who may be feeling sad or lonely,
Backed by the Royal Voluntary Service, drivers can add the ‘Happy to Chat’ badge to their uniforms to signal they’re happy to spend a few minutes with people.
Anna-Maree Shaw, chief commercial officer for Asda, said: “It’s a challenging time for everyone, especially those experiencing loneliness.
“While ASDA colleagues have always made an effort to have a quick chat and raise a smile, we want to make sure that whether it’s in our stores, at the doorstep or in the community – we’re here for customers this Christmas.”
Mr Norris also stars in a nationwide advert for the campaign released online by Asda which shows him meeting and interacting with his customers.
He added: “Loneliness this time of year is terrible, nobody should be lonely so we are doing our bit to help.
“A lot of customers, if they are feeling lonely, you will see them being inward, just crack a joke with them or ask them how the weather is.
“If you just talk about anything you will see the barriers break down and they will start chatting and they will look forward to you coming next time around.”